Flesh and Bones: Experimental Outreach and Church Orthodoxy

Group of smiling friends standing against white background

By Scott Simonds

SSimonds_1The Unification Movement and our close cousins, evangelical Christianity, are struggling to engage young adults between the ages of 18 and 29.  David Kinnaman, a sociologist with the Barna Group research firm and author of unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity…and Why It Matters, analyzed data on what people in this demographic think about evangelical Christianity, and why it matters for outreach ministries.

While researching how “Outsiders” — those outside the church — view Christianity, he also discovered common reasons why young believers are leaving the church, which he documented in his follow-up book, You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church…and Rethinking Faith.

Kinnaman and the Barna Group have delineated and characterized four generations which form the backdrop for his book: Elders, Boomers, Busters, and Mosaics.

Elders are characterized as having grown up in homogenous communities, engaged in organized churches, they are patriotic, and had limited means of communication outside of their neighborhoods.  They lived through the Great Depression, World War II and the Korean War.

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